tv Anderson Cooper 360 CNN February 1, 2012 3:00am-4:00am EST
decision now than we could several months ago. >> we certainly can. as always, thank you very much. tomorrow night we're talking economy and your money. no one knows that better than suze orman. she's here tomorrow at 9:00 eastern. that's it for us. good night, everyone. governor clinton is now president bill clinton. >> too close to call. >> here it is, george w. bush re-elected. >> barack obama president-elect of the united states. good evening, again, you're watching a special edition of ac 360, primary coverage. >>
winner take all. and tonight, the big winner in florida by a big margin, mitt romney. >> mitt romney, florida's choice. a win that makes him the front runner again. >> a competitive primary doesn't divide us. it prepares us, and we will win. >> a new setback for newt gingrich and his roller coaster campaign. >> we are going to contest every place and we're going to win, and we will be in tampa as the nominees. >> four candidates with the fight for the nomination just beginning. the votes are in, florida has spoken. and now the campaign goes west. >> and again, welcome. kwet 360" is live tonight, all the way to the midnight hour.
breaking down the results >> i think florida did something very important coming on top of south carolina. it's now clear that this will be a two-person race between the conservative leader, newt gingrich, and the massachusetts moderate. >> a few months ago, there were -- how many candidates? nine, we're down to four. but tonight, tonight i saw we were in third place when it
comes to delegates, that's what really counts. >> there's one message that we really got from the campaign in florida. it's that republicans can do better. the american public does not want to see two or three candidates get into a mud wrestling match where everybody walks away dirty and not in the position to be able to represent our party proudly. >> together, we will build an america where hope is a new job with a paycheck, not a faded word on an old bumper sticker. my leadership will end the obama era and begin a new era of american prosperity. >> the greatest danger when we accept the notion that the government is supposed to take care of us from cradle to grave and we're supposed to be the policemen of the world is ultimately, it's done at the expense of personal liberty. >> it's cheating our grandchildren to not insist on fundamental basic change in washington, even if the establishment doesn't like it. >> where the wonderful thing is
happening is in the grassroots. people are beginning to realize that the problem is too much government. we need more personal liberty. >> so designing and putting together a people's campaign, not a republican campaign, not an establishment campaign, not a wall street funded campaign, a people's campaign, and saying to every american of every background, and every ethnic group in every community, we have a better future for you and your family. >> if you want to make a selection about restoring american greatness, i lope you'll join us. if you believe the disappointments, if you believe the disappointments of the last few years are a detour and not our destiny, i'm asking for your vote. >> if you want a strong pribsple conservative who is not going to be the issue in the campaign, who is going to make barack obama the issue, vote for me. >> we believe in the america
that challenges each of us to be bigger and better than ourselves. this election, let's fight for the america we love. >> i'm not going to compete with obama in singing because i'm not running for entertainer in chief. i'm running for president. and i would say to him now, mr. president, you cannot sing your way past a disaster of your presidency. >> well, if enthusiasm wins elections, we win hands down. >> those are the candidates earlier tonight. governor romney's wife ann also speaking out. candy crowley asked if she's concerned about the negative tone the campaign is taking. >> it's always unfortunate that politics has a negative side, but i'm going to be talking about the positive side of what i think mitt can bring to the table. i have seen him in all different situations in my lifetime, and the people care about economy
and jobs scomrx nay want to turn to someone, and florida is going to exhibit this because florida is really hurting. it has been a heart breaking trip for us to be here. i have to tell you, i love this state. my parents lived here for a long time. it breaks my heart to see how many people are underwater in their homes and are out of work. but i think people are hoping that mitt, once he gets to the right job, can actually do something about turning this economy around, and i have seen him doing it. i have seen him do turn arounds time and time again, and when institutions get in trouble, whether it's the olympics or the state of massachusetts or businesses he's a turn-around guy, he fixes things, and people are going to say it's time for somebody who has experience and knows what they're doing to get in there and turn the country around. >> we have seen your husband described as a liberal, a moderate, a man from massachusetts -- a democrat from massachusetts.
you describe him. >> it's bib funny to me. what is next, a communist. i don't know. it's been humorous. because i know -- i know where his values are on a personal level. he's a conservative guy. i know how he's gfrbed, from a conservative point of view. i know how he will govern, from a conservative place, to rein in spending. it's politics. >> governor romney's wife, ann romney, earlier tonight. with candy crowley who has been covering the romney campaign for us all night long, joins us from the empty romney headquarters at this hour. the campaign already, has governor romney already left for nevada. we're told gingrich is leaving tonight? >> no, he's actually going to minnesota. and you know, as you know, these come quickly. there are also three states that are up next tuesday. so he's up in minnesota, he'll hook up there with tim pawlenty
who dropped out of inrace and has endorsed romney. you will see him in nevada and colorado, which is also next tuesday. >> it was interesting to hear ann romney talk about her husband as a turn around guy. is that a theme they're going to try to hit. the notion he's har turned around companies, he can turn around the country? >> that was always their theme. the romney campaign went into this venture saying this is the percht time for business credentials. we have seen the type of credentials he has been questioned as vulture c capitalism, et cetera, but they have felt that mitt romney can sell himself as someone who has turned around countries and can turn around the country. understands what businesses go through, what is hampering them from hiring people, et cetera, so that has all along been the way they saw the campaign shaping up.
that is the message they have long want today have out there. >> candy, appreciate the reporting tonight. >> jim acosta is at the newt gingrich headquarters. are they having any explanation why there was no congratulatory call from newt gingrich to romney, no congratulations in his speech tonight. what are they saying hold on, jim. i'm not hearing you. we have to fix your audio. unfortunately, something has gone wrong. we got you right now. we got you. go ahead. explain why no congratulations. >> all right, i have a chance to talk to rc hamann, a spokesman for the campaign, and he said, this is a sign that the race will go on.
i had a chance to go up to speaker gingrich a few times after the speech tonight, and i have to tell you, i pressed the question to him on multiple occasion as he was trying to leave the room, shaking the hands of various supporters. he simply did not answer the question, wolf. as the candidates are heading out west and flying through the country to head to nevada over the next couple days, the voters may be grabbing their air sickness bags because that's how personal this race has become. the gingrich folks have become about how negative and nasty and dishonest the romney campaign has wanled this campaign, unfortunately for them, the numbers weren't on their side. if you take the numbers of voters who were in support of newt gingrich, add them to the number of people who voted for rick santorum, they still may not have beaten romney in florida, and there's one other big numerical challenge for newt gingrich, the fact that he was crushed by mitt romney with
women voters, that's something they have not addressed out on the campaign trail. they have not put calista gingrich forward the way ann romney was put forward. you saw the interview with cany crowley. they have decided not to do that. it raises the question whether or not they can continue to do that going forward with the fact that so many women voters have turned their backs on newt gingrich in this state. >> no doubt he's continuing, at least for now. 46 states to go. and there's no indication whatsoever that the setback in florida is going to cause him to rethink that strategy. >> that's right, wolf. you saw jason chavis as the young brash lawmaker who might have been by gingrich's side in the '90s. in 2012, more of a thorn in his side. he supports romney. he joins us now. a big win for your team tonight, for governor romney tonight.
why do you think your governor, why doyou think governor romney was able to make up some of the deficit he had among evangelicals, among tea party supporters? >> i'm as tea party as it gets. i was ranked the second most conservative member in the house. i'm not conceding the conservative base to newt gingrich. to the contrary, the base of the party, the tea party activists want someone from outside washington, clearly that romney. and the only person in the race at this point who has the experience to make that point is romney. government doesn't create jobs, people and entrepreneurs do. >> the rhetoric on both sides has been pretty brutal. no signs of that dimming in the days and weeks ahead. you have taken part in some of that. is there a point, though, that it starts to hurt your candidate, that it starts to hurt all of the republican candidates and all of the republican condition? >> well, you have to go through
a number of matches where you're sparring with each other, it makes you stronger as governor romney pointed out tonight. it makes you stronger going into the general election. not only the candidates, but the organizations, the staff, the fund-raising becomes important. you have to rub run a hard campaign to get ready for the fall. if you think it's tough now, get ready for the gall. >> do you believe that speaker gingrich will stay in the race all the way through the convention? >> as a candidate, everybody is going to say that, but there's going to be a point where you see victory after victory where it becomes a point where enough is enough. and look, even past the point mitt romney was in the race and finally bowed out and did so in a gracious way, but they're all going to say they're in it to win it and in it until the end. i don't blame him for that. >> when do you think your candidate can claim victory. who you think the others will drop out? >> hopefully sooner rather than
later. now transitions into a campaign, you can't park them in a state for a week. romney will be in minnesota, nevada, then to colorado. and then you better have the resources, the organization, and the right candidate with the right message, and when you add that up, it's mitt romney. the sooner we can get into focusing entirely on barack obama, the better, but i wouldn't want to trade positions with anyone else at this point. >> i appreciate you time tonight. thank you. up next, a key factor for so many republicans tonight, which candidate can beat barack obama. we have the numbers on that. we'll be right back. hello, how can i deliver world-class service
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proposition, and we're here to collect. >> governor romney a big winner tonight. the question is do the hard numbers suggest he would be the likeliest republican winner in november. john king has some of the numbers at the wall. >> let's start with this. show the viewers at home so they don't say they're crazy. 46 states to go, as the gingrich campaign says, but romney has the lead. if he can pull this out, let's go to the map. this is the 20008 map, obama winning, but let's take tonight's state, florida. north carolina, virginia, a toss-up, new hampshire will be a swing state, indiana, michigan could be in play this time. iowa will be a swing state. colorado will be a swing state. maybe new mexico. the democratic think they may have a chance. and nevada, the highest unemployment rate in the country. if you're watching at home, you're democrat, you say give some of these back, if you're republican, you might say some
of these are swing states, we're doing it hypothetical, for the sake of argument's state, say the president keeps virginia, let's say the republicans get north carolina, let's give the republicans ohio, and let's say despite high unemployment, the bail-out helps the president who keeps michigan. indiana is likely to go republican. let's go over here. colorado, give it to the republicans for the sake of argument here. i'm going to keep the republicans winning arizona, and let's keep new mexico in the democratic column. look where we are. obama, 260. you need 270 to win. let's say romney is the nominee and he wins new hampshire. he's closing in. let's say that governor romney can win out here, and let's keep this in the democratic column. look where we are. who voted tonight, the state of florida? a pretty easy scenario where florida decides who the next president is, donna and ari, it happened one time in history.
if it went republican, mitt romney or whoever squeaks over, and republican, not a landslide, but a win. people who are watching in these states, they say no, no, you could put more states in play, minnesota in play, potentially wisconsin in play, if you allocate them in a reeseinable scenario, this is what we do. with 8% plus unemployment, a much more competitive map than in 2008, you i have a scenario where a state as small as iowaory a state like florida or ohio could be up on cnn after dark in november. >> we heard candidates like michele bachmann saying don't settle for someone who doesn't share your conservative values. tonight, we saw the number one priority in florida is who can beat barack obama. >> it was the same in south carolina. the more conservative electorates thought it was gingrich. tonight, they said it was mitt romney.
that's the question going forward. republicans are hungry. the reason the romney campaign will say it's important, florida republicans know their state is a big election battleknround. the challenge is can you carry it on. but we're learning. the map is going to be tighter this time. >> florida, the most diverse state we have seen so far. wolf. >> anderson, thanks very much. no doubt a lot of democratics have been watching very, very closely. what is going on in florida, debbie wasserman schultz is a congress woman from florida and the chair of the democratic national committee. she's joining us from tampa right now. mitt romney wins, we have been saying a shellacking. it has to get you and a lot of other democrats nervous. florida, a key battleground state in november if he should get the nomination. >> no, it doesn't get me nervous. what gets me concerned is that mitt romney has spent this
entire primary buying the election. he ran 13,000 ads versus newt gingrich's 200. and really drowned newt gingrich in ads. so with 65% at least of republican voters that voted tonight, identifying with the tea party, that's a pretty extreme right-wing field of an electorate. and that's not an electorate that is reflective of the general election voters in florida, who are moderate, who are middle class and working families and who mitt romney and the rest of the field are dramatically out of step with. we're going to continue to organize and use their primary process as an organizing tool. we have 11 offices open throughout the state, we have made hundreds of thousands of phone calls and we're going to continue to fight hard to get the economy turns around. >> you have to be concerned he did so well in miami-dade and broward and palm beach county, the largest population centers in the state.
those are economies that the president of the united states will desperately need to have a shot at florida. >> president obama, i'm quite confident, is going to win overwhelmingly in south florida. like most presidential candidates do on the democratic side, the republicans really need to be kirned tonight because if there was so much fervor on their side to beat president obama, they would have had a bigger turnout in the primary in 2012 than 2008, and it was lower. that's reflective of the fact they're not very enthusiastic about their field. that's going to cause them problems down the road. florida is the biggest battleground state and it's going to be key to the candidate that wins, which i think will be barack obama. >> is he the strongest candidate, the one you fear the most as a democrat? >> you know, fear is certainly not the term i would use.
it doesn't much matter which one of the republican candidates ultimately is there nominee. they're all extreme. they have all embraced the tea party. the general election voters are not supportive of the priorities of the tea party. general election voters like independents and moderates support a candidate like barack obama fighting to create jobs and get the economy turnsed around, fighting for an opportunity for everyone to be successful, unlike mitt romney who thinks we should continue the loopholes that he benefits from, continue the tax code that he benefits from, where people who make less than him pay a higher tax rate, at the end of the day, we want tomeric sure that everyone in america has a chance to live the american dream, and a dramatic contrast between the republicans and barack obama is going to be quite stark when it comes to election day in november. that's why newt has been cratering with moderates and democrats because his overwhelmingly negative campaign
continues to turn voters off. >> if he gets the nomination, there will be three presidential debates as you know in the fall, with the president of the united states versus the republican nominee. let's assume it's mitt romney for argument's sake, and he said he would repeal the president's health care law on day one. what would the president, you think, say to mitt romney? >> well, i know in florida, the president would say to mitt romney that that would reopen the doughnut hole for prescription drug coverage for senior citizens. it would return to the days when insurance companies could drop you or deny you coverage for a pre-existing condition. 45% of americans live in this country with a pre-existing condition. i'm a breast cancer survivor. i tell you the millions of breast cancer survivors that live in this country would be incredibly resentful of the notion that mitt raunlny would take that comfort and care away.
the 2.5 million young adult whose can can stay on their parents' insurance would liez that, and 20 million more would lose that as well. that position to repeal is unacceptable. it would return power to the health care companies over our heth care decisions and that's not something that the american people are going to support. that's what he would tell romney in any head to head debate. >> debbie wasserman schultz, the chair of the democratic committee joining us. thanks very much. >> coming up, john king looks at which candidate won the latino vote. that and more on "ac 360" primary night coverage continues. ♪
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the winner, the big winner, mitt romney. one big key in florida, the latino vote. john king is at the wall punching the exit poll data. >> 14% of the vote, latinos, didn't see that in iowa, new hampshire, or south carolina. and among latino votes, governor romney winning huge, 54% to 29% for speaker gingrich. 9% for santorum. 54%, a clear majority of the latino vote going to romney.
on the issues, the economy was by far issue number one among all voters. illegal immigration, perhaps in the latino vote more than others, a minor issue in florida, with high unemployment, the foreclosure rate, dominating. romney with 95% of the vote count is winning huge, a 14 point lead over gingrich. latino voters, the darker the area, the bigger percentage of latino voters. reds in the miami area, south of orlando and tampa here. down here is where you get the high percentage of the cuban vote, and romney winning convincingly. winning among the cuban american vote, but florida is not just cuban americans. you have a large puerto rican count, and the first time we have seen this key constitch wnsy, come the general election, so the romney campaign will see this as a down payment as winning. nevada, another huge constitch waenls, colorado, so we are beginning to get a taste of how
the republicans fare among a part of the electoral that will be competitive in november. >> gloerj yeah joins us, and we think about the latino vote in florida. it's important to realize you cannot paint it with a broad brush. it is a diverse population in this state? >> it is, but it was a republican primary, a close primary, and republicans are close in florida. you have more voters, more registered democrats in florida, and 431,000 independents or no party affiliation. so this was supposed to happen. it doesn't mean we're going to see this. >> for cubans, immigration is not a huge issue. and so i think you know, you see that reflective. what we saw from mitt romney, though, is he softened his
position on immigration from what we heard in iowa. he allowed that he would accept part of the dream act, for example, for the military. and he talked about self-deportation. and he -- so we heard a little bit from a different romney on immigration issues where gingrich was much softer on immigration. and he didn't do as well. >> even though he has soughtened, mitt romney has, but none thereless, in a general election, he's going to be the clear underdog with hispanic voters. and can he add a purse perisn't here and there. >> it is such a big shift. under george w. bush, republicans were trying to reach out to latino voters in a way they hadn't before. some of the advances they had
made, and clearly they were reversed. >> it's not -- cubans don't need immigration reform. puerto ricans are americans by birth. you say it's very diverse. you don't have one hispanic community. there are many communities, but people feel offended by the tone, attacked in the community, and it brings people out to call on one issue, which is immigration. if the tone doesn't change, hispanics are going to go, president obama, even though he hasn't delivered on immigration reform, has over 60% of the vote. >> and george w. bush, the republican has to get somewhere up in there in the national elections, especially as the population grows. and that's why marco rubio became such an interesting player. he didn't endorse, why jeb bush stayed out of the endorsement game in florida. >> he did say that anybody --
the person who wins in florida is going to become the nominee. >> he also scolded newt gingrich. remember, there was a radio ad talking about the language of the goatghetto, he said that's a terrible ad. gingrich took it down. >> rubio has a position on immigration that many members of congress, even in california, she backed romney and said we don't agree with him on immigration but we think we can get him to change. >> alex, you listen to this, how do you see immigration playing out in the states ahead? >> well, it certainly is going to be much more important in the general election than here and in western states where you do have a very different hispanic population. you know, the cuban voters here, it's still a close primary, and it's primarily dominated in florida by cuban voters. and they come here, they work for gingrich. a lot of them love gingrich, but
they saw him as marginalizing them, romney is going to move the economy. as we get to the western states, then it's a very different story. these are different kind of hispanic voters that are still sending money back home, for example, to maybe a country in latin america, to mexico, hispanic voter that has family or knows someone or works with someone who may not be a legal citizen. so all of a sudden, the tone, i think, does make all of the difference in the world. the republican nominee, you know, it needs to explain that this is still a country with strong hands and borders but a big heart to welcome people. >> florida was a representative of the latino population in the country. 60% of the voters, mexican. and while it's important to have a spanish surname, it doesn't necessarily help you win the election in a vote. we saw even with suzanna
martinez in mexico, most of her votes came from white conservative voters and not necessarily latino voters. it matters to have a strong position on immigration. on education, on jobs in the economy, and i think republicans will come up short. one thing we didn't mention is overall turnout among republicans in florida was down. 15% drop over 2008. >> have to take a quick break. we'll get ari and paul's perspective. check out cnnpolitics.com for more. next, the role of negative campaigning. people say they hate the attacks. we hear it over and over. we showed they do listen to them. they seem to work. they seemed to work this time. we'll show you how it played out today at the polls. forest fresh full tank brain freeze cake donettes rolling hot dogs bag of ice anti-freeze wash and dry diesel self-serve fix a flat jumper cables 5% cashback right now, get 5% cashback at gas stations.
hey, welcome back to our "360" coverage of the florida primary. 92%, according to the campaign media aanall vs group. 92% accounted for all of the ads, the negative ads. let's take a look. >> i know the speaker is not real happy, speaker gingrich. he's been flailing around a bit. these debates have gone well. gingrich wasn't happy with the debates, though. >> mr. speaker, your trouble in florida isn't because the audience is too quiet or too loud.
>> to the moon he says, all right. >> we look for qualities in the president, but we don't look for whining and excuses. >> he's looking for excuses everywhere he can. >> he was given the opportunity to lead our party. you're right, he failed. he ultimately had to resign in disgrace. he can't rewrite history. >> i don't believe the republican party is going to nominate a liberal. >> not some liberal from massachusetts. >> massachusetts liberal. >> massachusetts liberal. >> massachusetts liberal who is pro-abortion. pro gay rights. >> he has no understanding of the importance of conscience and the important of liberty in thi country. >> represents the establishment in new york. >> he has never had one day of experience trying to get something done in washington. >> what a pathetic situation to be running for the president of
the united states with nothing positive to say for yourself. >> there was this huge wave of dishonest romney ads. >> breathtakingly dishonest, the most blatantly dishonest answers i can remember in any presidential race in my lifetime. >> you cannot be president of the united states if you cannot be honest and candid with the american people. >> we her a lot of harsh words. earlier, paul begala said the primary is about bile, bitterness, and bad blood. >> alex has predicted that the republicans would come together this fall. is all this rhetoric, is it hurting long-term? >> not yet. if it continues for too long, sure, it could. but right now, we do suffer, i think, we have the luxury of barack obama. >> calling romney a liar, can you take that away? >> he was punished for it in florida. that's what happened. look what republicans did. that's one reason i think newt gingrich became unelectable in
florida. the jury is efficient at these things. the american people, democratic and republicans, look at when someone is attacking someone for their own gain instead of the country. they'll disqualify them. >> they work if they have a sufficient core of credibility when they say, you know what, that's what i thought and you're re-enforcing it. if you come up with something and say my opponent is against kosher food, people aren't going to believe it. you still have to put your faith in the hands of the voters, and florida in particularly where the voters are elderly, pay more attention, read a lot, watch a lot, they are able to wade through these things. if it doesn't have credibility, it doesn't work. >> paul suggested that the republican brand is badly tarnished. the longer it goes on, the harder it will be for them to try to rebrand themselves in the fall. they're hurting moon independents. i don't think the -- you know, the long race will help mitt
romney regain some of his narrative about being a confident businessman who can turn things around. the key thing right now is for the republicans to try to close it down. but it's duff because you have so many conservatives who are still looking for alternatives to mitt romney. >> victory washing a lot of grime and mud away, guys. we have seen it over the years. >> it can with republicans, but independents are watching, too. they go to character and idology. and both of those things, romney is taking on water. and voters are watching that, and we remember it's the way we are wired. a great republican, daughter of teddy rosevelt, once said this, if you don't have something nice to say about someone, come sit by me. we want to hear this. and this stuff about his business record, about his vorasty, it's going to last and linger. >> if that's the case, barack obama is doomed because he's running, the most polarizing figure in american politics. he's running a hugely negative campaign.
he ran more negative ads -- he ran more negative ads -- >> barack obama -- >> than anyone else, he won. and he's the president of the united states. >> it's because of the political climate. the country is deeply divided. it dozen matter who is in the white house at this point. you're going to have half of the country opposing because they don't support your political party. >> you have to start to worry about if this goes on too long, that it does have the potential to hurt the candidates. it's too early now and the candidates have the right to get into this. i'm prepared. i think you can go to march, maybe april, but at a point, this will hurt republicans. you have to sort it out. you can't stop it. >> beyond the politics, there is actually real substnls that we're beginning to see the outlines of a general election. these republicans are campaigning on growth and jobs. that's what they were talking about on the stumps.
the negative ads are trying to disqualify them on character and all that, but when you look at barack obama, he is talking about redistributing the pie, i have to take from you to have more for me. republicans are talking about growth. it's a popules negative campaign. >> the american dream should work for everyone. it shouldn't just work for the well to do. it's not about taking away. it's about insuring that everyone has an equal shot at becoming successful. >> let's pause on the talking points on that one. more to come tonight. up next, we'll show you how the delegates count stand right now, what the map looks like down the road. we'll be right back. ♪ he was a 21st century global nomad ♪ ♪ home was an airport lounge and an ipad ♪ ♪ made sure his credit score did not go bad ♪ ♪ with a free-credit-score-dot-com ♪ ♪ app that he had
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[ male announcer ] engine light on? come to meineke now for a free code scan read and you'll say...my money. my choice. my meineke. welcome back. we're live tonight with a special "ac 360" edition after a big mitt romney win in florida. let's take a look at where the delegate count stands for governor romney as well after the rest of the field. john king is at the wall with that. >> you need 1,144 to clinch it. so the question is, where do we go from here? january is over, anderson. now we go forward. and nevada is next on the 4th. i'll do a hypothetical. i'm going to run the map for you. minnesota, missouri, colorado, we go through there.
the main caucuses, could be a ron paul surprise in maine. i'm going to give it to romney. arizona and michigan, the biggest in february at the end of the month, if romney wins them all, he would be at about 256. they're proportional. we'll give some to other candidates. let's fast forward through march. we go through this quickly. washington caucus, ron paul. super tuesday, this is why gingrich says he's going to stay in. he believes when he gets to the south, he can be more competitive. some fill in romney, some fill in gingrich, especially in the south. again at home, if you're a santorum or paul supporter, this is hypothetical, just to show why gingrich things he can stay in. louisiana, gets to there. april 3rd, out of march and into april, texas is a big prize. if gingrich were to win that, you have romney shy of 700, gingrich at 445. the finish line is here. romney would be ahead, but not by so much that gingrich wouldn't stay in. let's see if romney runs the board in february, but as they
go only, a couple final points from the exit poll data. are you satisfied if romney wins the nomination? 31% of florida republicans voting today said no. he did win the state big, a shellacking. a bit of a problem there, but they like romney. so this works in his favor. 76% of those who voted say they have a favorable liking of romney. for gingrich, in florida, 55% had a favorable view, but 4 in 10 republicans, have an unfavorable view of gingrich. you can blame the negative ads, but going forward, that could be a problem, if his nothingatives among republicans. >> let's get quick final thoughts from all of you. wolf? >> i have been thinking about how important all of these debates have been. in south carolina, newt gingrich
did well in the debates. he won decisively in south carolina. in florida, mitt romney did well in the two debates in florida. he won decisively in florida. i have covered these elections for a long time. four years ago, i moderated five, including the last one between hillary clinton and barack obama. as important as all of the debates were then, these have been so much more important, and the exit poll numbers show if so many people were influenced by all of those debates. >> no doubt about it. >> i think this was romney's first really clean win. this wasn't a tie in iowa. it wasn't in his backyard of new hampshire. it was in a big, diverse state that required a lot of organization, a lot of money. the thing to keep in mind, though, as you head forward is the difficult task that mitt rom nay has, which is he has to keep up the pressure on newt gingrich, but he also has to take a turn to barack obama. so he's got to do two things in one.
>> this is the most important contest of the season so far. coming out of south carolina, mitt romney faced a mortal threat, and he turned that back and did so decisively. he did so in a state that is a battleground. the number of people who vote here is roughly equal to twice as many people as live in iowa and new hampshire and south carolina combined. this is a big state. the point about going forward, the national journal has pointed out something interesting tonight. on protracted nomination fights in the republican party, there were five in the 20th century, republicans lost four of the elections. one of the reasons they want to shut this down. >> a fascinating night. our special coverage continues and piers morgan talks to newt gingrich's daughters about their dad and where his campaign coverage goes from here.
it is quite a race and it has been quite a night. that's it for us on "360." thanks for watching. primary coverage continues right now with piers morgan. i'll see you tomorrow. >> thanks. i'll come back to our team in a minute to see what it means. florida, 50 delegates in his column, and it gives romney a lead over santorum and paul. >> a competitive primary does